Founding Partners

Passionbrand was founded in 2005 by Helen Edwards and Derek Day. The partners are very much hands-on and at least one, and more usually both, will be centrally involved in every project.

A photo of Helen Edwards
Helen Edwards

London Business School MBA

PhD in marketing

Teaches brand management at
London Business School

Author, From Marginal to Mainstream:
why tomorrow’s brand growth will come
from the fringes – and how to get there first.

Award-winning columnist for
Marketing Week. Keynote speaker at
Festival of Marketing

Derek Day

Has created and developed global
brand ideas for Mercedes-Benz,
Emirates, Unilever, The BBC

Co-author, Creating Passion Brands:
how to build emotional brand
connection with consumers

Contributor to Marketing and
Market Leader

Work published in 11 D&AD Annuals
in five creative disciplines

New York One Show Gold winner

The people we work with

With the lead partner at the core, the team for each assignment is created according to the disciplines involved. These are some of the specialist talents who have been working alongside us over the past five years or more:

Amy SweetingProject Director

A photo of Amy

12 years’ experience in brand strategy and qualitative research. Worked at Added Value (WPP) and Big Green Door before turning consultant. Skilled in brand positioning, portfolio strategy, innovation and comms development.

Has worked across a wide range of sectors including FMCG, healthcare, alcoholic beverages, luxury and retail with clients including Diageo, Discovery Communications, SAB Miller, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever.

Alexena CollinsProject Director

15 years’ experience in branding, marketing and communications. Began her career at Shell International. Joined the brand team at the Co-operative Bank, overseeing the strategic review when the organisation converged its banking and insurance businesses to become Co-operative Financial Services. As a consultant, has extensive experience in leading strategic brand, design, innovation and communications projects. Has worked with brands across a broad range of sectors including Yorkshire Building Society, Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Mubadala, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, BMW, Ford, Freeview, Diageo, Waitrose, Astra Zeneca and EDF Energy.

Sofie RunnquistMarketing Analyst

A photo of Sofie

Sofie graduated in 2013 from the University of Bath with a first class MSc in Management and Marketing after having worked for LBi in the creative department with brands such as Peroni and Sony. She joined Passionbrand in December 2013 and has since been involved in branding projects for Smith & Nephew, Freeview, Yorkshire Building Society, Johnson & Johnson and Avon.

Will Allen-MershMarketing Analyst

A photo of Will

Will joined the Passionbrand team in 2011 after working with easyJet, contributed brilliantly on EDF Energy, Kallo and Smith & Nephew, then left in 2014 to complete a three-month course for advertising planners in Miami. He has since partnered with us on global initiatives for Avon and Johnson & Johnson.

Will has an MSc in Marketing from the University of Bath and a First in Economics and Management from St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

Sarah HillasTraining Partner

20 years global marketing experience, working on some of Johnson & Johnson’s most iconic brands: Johnson’s Baby, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear. Founder member of Johnson & Johnson Marketing Excellence team responsible for global capability building.

Developed Johnson & Johnson Marketing Capability Diagnostic tool. Has run marketing capability-building workshops in over 30 countries on four continents. Has trained all levels – from CMO through to new starter – across multiple disciplines.

Debbie SaundersCustomer Experience


20 years working in marketing and management consultancy.

Expertise in customer experience design and across a range of industries and clients including Coca-Cola, BAT and Logitech.

Guest lecturer at London Business School.

Carol CassArt Direction and Video

An award-winning art director with 30 years experience, Carol Cass trained originally as a commissioning art editor, and worked as an art buyer for the first six years of her advertising career. Her hands-on experience is vast and includes Unilever (global), Kraft, Kellogg, BT, GM, Qantas and Bayer. For Passionbrand she has successfully commissioned and overseen major photographic initiatives, ensuring high quality-control standards and good value for money.

Jamie TomkinsDesign

Photo of jamie

After working as a Product Designer Jamie took a Masters in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art. During his time there he won the industry prize in association with General Electric, and an award at the Paris Motor Show sponsored by 3M. On graduating he joined Volkswagen AG as an Advanced Concept designer, exploring new opportunities for the brands Audi and Volkswagen. Now based back in the UK he is currently working with Passionbrand as a designer and has developed strong graphic input on Smith & Nephew, Yorkshire Building Society, Alliance Medical and Mitchells & Butlers.